The Times They Are A-Changin’

Isn’t it an exciting time to be alive in this country? By this I mean, whether you like it or not, things are changing…

We’ve got national healthcare in our collective consciousness, with heated debates on the manner of its reform, or if it even needs it.

We’ve got GLBT rights activists up front protesting for marriage equality, and with that some very confusing mixed-messages all the way from the President himself on when said rights will be enacted.

We elected the first African-American President.

We’re fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we were originally led to believe that they were one in the same.

There’s climate change, and even though the debate as to whether or not its real has pretty much been wrapped up, a unified solution to this world-wide problem has everyone torn on just what type of sacrifices need to be made.

And to top it all off, we’re experiencing an economic recession that was a baby’s breath away from being a depression, and still could go that way if we’re not careful.

Whew!

All my life, I’ve heard about the type of revolutions that were happening in the ‘60s, how nothing was the same after that. There are endless documentaries on everything cultural that took place; Women’s Lib, Woodstock, the Civil Rights Act, the moon landing. But cultural progression isn’t something that lays stagnant for a generation or two only to launch forward on a given decade; it truly is simply ongoing. But every now and then, we reach a place in history where we find ourselves springing forward, for better or for worse, and afterward we look back in amazement of the times.

I believe we’re living one of those moments right now. And I bet I’m not alone. The real question is then: What comes next? Are things starting to simmer down, or are they just heating up?

I think about the people who experienced the ‘60s sometimes, those who remember where they were when JFK was shot, what they were doing when the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution took place which made our war with Vietnam official. And I wonder what their mindset was on these events? What was their position on theses momentous issues? What their involvement was in shaping that time?

So with that in mind, when we find ourselves, many years from now, looking back at the end of the first decade of the 21st century in the form of a PBS documentary, how exactly will we feel about our contributions when we say to ourselves, “Hey, I was there.”? I personally look forward to regaling grandchildren with my exploits someday. And I look forward to them being proud of me for my role in the times.

It would be presumptuous of me to assume that all my ideas and ideals will be shone upon positively by all in the annals of future history. But being opposed to wars that are documented to have been started for the wrong reasons, and being for the rights of an oppressed segment of the population, I feel fairly confident that I’ll have no need to be embarrassed. If looking back at the ’60s can teach us anything, I believe those are two lessons to not take for granted. So the question is: What do you think your future will hold about the current times?

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One Response to “The Times They Are A-Changin’”

  1. pixie Says:

    I stand with you, proud of where I am.

    An open mind that understands that it doesn’t always understand. An unwavering support of the troops but not the war. An agreement with the people that yes, something must be done! But what? What can I do? What can you do? What could we accomplish together?

    It is a time of “the little things” counting. Am I doing my “little things”?
    Yes, I am.
    The only political position that is always wrong is apathy.
    I will tell my grandkids that.

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